JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - No. 1 Stetson extended the nation's longest winning streak to 13 games with a 2-1 victory against Kennesaw State at the 2018 ASUN Conference Baseball Championship on Thursday afternoon. The Hatters advance in the winner's bracket of this year's Championship.
It was a pitcher's duel for most of the game as starters Logan Gilbert and Brooks Buckler matched each other inning for inning, pitch for pitch. Kennesaw State was the first to find a breakthrough as Jake Franklin doubled down the right-field line to put himself in scoring position. Terence Norman, a First Team All-Conference selection, drove home Franklin with a single through the right side.
Despite giving up the run, Gilbert continued his impressive season as he registered nine strikeouts to push his season total to 143 in 2018. He didn't allow another run to the Owls and kept his team in the ball game. It took until the seventh inning, but the Hatters offense delivered for their ace.
Brooks Wilson took a one-out walk and then moved to second on Eric Foggo's single to left field. Jonathan Meola was up next and he drove a deep fly ball into the right-center gap to bring home Wilson and Foggo and just like that the Hatters took a 2-1 lead. Head Coach Steve Trimper called on his outstanding bullpen to close out the contest.
Freshman Austin Wood came on in the seventh and struck out two batters before making way to senior Ben Onyshko who got the final out in the eighth. The nation's top closer, Wilson entered the game in the ninth and recorded his 20th save of the season to extend his Stetson and ASUN single-season record.
With today's victory, No. 1 Stetson will be back in action on Friday morning at 11 AM against the winner of tonight's final contest, No. 2 Jacksonville vs. No. 4 North Florida. The Owls are eliminated and end the season with a record of 25-30 on the year. Stetson's record improves to 43-11 as the Hatters entered today's contest ranked fifth in the RPI.
No. 1 Stetson vs. No. 3 Kennesaw State Additional Notes
- Logan Gilbert struck out nine batters tonight, giving him 11 games this season of nine or more strikeouts for the Hatters. His season total now sits at 143, which ranks seventh in ASUN single-season history.
- Brooks Wilson became just the 25th player in NCAA history to record 20 or more saves in a single-season. He extends his ASUN single-season record with today's performance.
- Jonathan Meola collected multiple RBI for the sixth time this season. Stetson owns a 5-1 record in those contest during the season.
- Kennesaw State's center fielder Jake Franklin recorded two RBI today to bring his season total to 34. He had only recorded 15 RBI in his previous two seasons combined for the Owls.
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